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Ep 22: How to Love Your Slacker Side

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You know what? I don’t think I’ve ever seen nuts that are the same size. No, no. Socks are always uneven. We are not symmetrical humans. I have two different size feet. They’re a half size different. Right. Mine too. It’s very annoying. So here’s my question, is the foot that is bigger also on the same side as the larger breast? Yes. Me too.

This is Maureen Farrell and Heather O’Neal. And this is The Milk Minute. An inclusive evidence-based podcast hosted by midwives and lactation professionals. That’s us. Here to talk to you about all things lactation and boobs, body positivity, mental health, all the Milky topics. Join us for another episode.

Hey guys, nip of the mornin’ to you. Today I want to talk about the shitty titty, the slacker booby. You know, and if you have no idea what we were talking about, because maybe you’ve never lactated before, let me fill you in. Pretty much everybody has one side that just doesn’t make as much milk as the other.

It can make ya real mad, right. Or we can look at the optimism side of it and say, you have one that makes a lot of milk and one that makes less. But that one that makes a lot is great. But combined you make just enough. Yeah. So it’s fine. But you know what? We want to talk about like, how do you love on that slacker boob a little bit? How do we show that shitty titty some love?

 Yeah. And do we have to do something about it? What do we do about it? Yeah. What do we do about it? Well, I’d like to introduce this with a little bit of numbers for us and then context, right? So, well, maybe context first, then numbers.

Yeah. Here’s some context for you. There’s plenty of people out there that only have one breast, literally like one has been removed due to breast cancer or what have you. And also twins where there’s one baby per breast. Triplets can also be fed with only two breasts. Exactly. So plenty of people feed perfectly fine with just one breast.

So don’t be too upset about your lopsided situation. And I think, so Heather and I run this Facebook group called Breastfeeding for Busy Moms. And I think literally every day I see a post about this, Heather. “Help. I have a slacker boob!” Right. Or we get a post with a picture of two little bottles from pumping, right.

And one has half an ounce and one has eight ounces and they say, “Help, how do I get these normal?” Right. And I understand that as human beings, we like it when things are even. We like it when things add up. We like it when things make sense. And, you know, we have a lot of perceived inadequacies and looking at this little slacker tit doesn’t help sometimes.

Yeah. You can’t compare apples to oranges. But, let me just tell you, pretty much everybody has a slacker boob. Yep. And they used to think it had something to do with handedness. Like if you’re right handed, your right breast will produce more. It doesn’t though. It doesn’t. I actually did that poll in the group now that I’m thinking about it and it did not correlate.

Yeah. Well, so I did a recent poll in our Facebook group because I think I had literally seen like five of these posts in one day. And I was like, okay. I just have to prove to all these people that it is normal, right? So we got a really good response. We had 489 people respond to it, which is actually like, it’s a significant amount of data.

Really? Actually we could maybe submit that one. And so the options were: left, right, it varies, and they produce the same. So 219 people said that their left side made less milk. 186 said their right side produce less milk. So those are while they’re slightly different, they’re pretty similar. Okay.

That’s like a nearly even split really. And then 67 surprisingly said that it varies, which I was, I was surprised that many said that. Yeah, me too, that doesn’t make a whole ton of sense to me. Right. And then 17 people said they produced the same. So out of 489 17 said that both of their tits make the same amount of milk.

Yeah. Honestly, that’s the most shocking thing in this poll. I thought we’d get two. I thought two people would say they make the same. You know, and granted like probably a lot of people who pump answered this versus people who directly breastfeed, because it’s a little bit harder to tell, but you know what a lot of people who don’t pump can tell too. They’ll be like, you know what?

My baby just doesn’t love my right breast as much. He feeds less on it. I can tell he’s not quite getting as much. And my first question every time, guess what it is, Heather? What? Is your baby gaining weight? Yes. Are they pooping and peeing okay? I think so. Then, your baby’s getting enough milk, right? I guess so.

So what does it matter which breast it comes from? Well, my shirt’s uneven, right. And I get that. I’m sitting here with like, like actually maybe two different cup sizes. But what do we always say? They’re sisters, sisters, not twins, sisters, not twins, guys. Let’s take a minute to thank our sponsor Aeroflow.

Oh, tell me more about that. You know, do you ever wake up in the morning and you’re like, I would love to call my insurance company today? Literally never once have I thought that. Okay. So people at Aeroflow knew this. Right. Good. And they decided that it would be in everybody’s best interest if they developed a business where they contacted your insurance company to order your breast pump for you. This sounds good.

So you literally never have to call your insurance company to work out getting a breast pump. Which is fantastic because no one ever wants to do that crap when they’re postpartum. And the other cool part is they will text you and let you know when it’s time for you to replace your pumping parts and when your insurance will pay for new ones.

So maybe, you know, your pump parts are fine for now, but if insurance is going to cover a new set, great. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m not really combing through my insurance benefits information postpartum to see when I qualify for replacement. No, I’m not at all. Right. So we’re going to go ahead and put a link in the show notes for Aeroflow. And when you click that link, it’s super easy. You just put in all of your insurance information and then somebody from Aeroflow contacts you directly, and you have like a real person that you talk with and then they do all the dirty work for you. It’s fantastic. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Please just do yourself a favor and get your pump through Aeroflow. It’s going to save you so much time and trouble, right? And they have all the top brand name, pumps, replacement parts, and accessories. You know, they’ve got cooling gel pads. They’ve got those pumping bras, all the stuff you need. Yeah. One place. Yep. One place.

So I guess the only thing left to say about that is you’re welcome. Yeah. You’re welcome.

And you know, I used to be, so self-conscious about this, like, so self-conscious, Heather. I would pad the right side of my bra. Oh, And I stopped doing it. And you know how many people said something to me? How many? None.

Cause no one cares, not even my partner. Cause he knows what size they are. He sees them all the time. Does he? I mean, or is he just squeezing them and thinking about nothing. I mean he sees me all the time without a bra on, what does it matter? You know?

 You know what, I don’t think I’ve ever seen nuts that are the same size. No they’re always uneven. We are not symmetrical humans. I have two different size feet. They’re a half size different, right? Mine too. It’s very, annoying. Here’s my question, is the foot that is bigger also on the same side as the larger breast? Yes. Me too.

Actually, so weirdly enough, my whole right side of my body is bigger. It’s my whole left side. My right, my right eye, my right breast. My right leg is longer. My right labia is longer. My right foot is longer. I don’t know what happened to me in there, but something. This is true of a lot of people. Well, my left hand is bigger and my left foot is bigger. My left boob is bigger. Yeah.

Heather’s just did it with her hands. My right hand’s bigger. Everything’s bigger on the right. Yeah. You’re the yin to my yang! Aww I love us. Me too. Cut us in half and put us together. We’d still be asymmetrical. Cute. Yeah. But you know, I really, I wanted to talk about this today because it is a worry that so many lactating parents have.

And really almost in every single case, it does not matter what that slacker boob makes. I think the biggest worry for people is, “how am I supposed to get in a good feeding if it’s time to feed on the slacker boob?” So here’s the answer to that. So, you know, when you first have a baby, we recommend stimulating both breasts evenly. And you’ll, I mean, whatever, do whatever, but most of the time they’ll say to you feed 15 minutes on one side and 15 on the other.

After your milk comes in, we like you to feed one whole breast until the baby’s satisfied and then switch to the other one. And if they take it, they take it. If they don’t, then they’re full. But sometimes people get worried that it’s like, Oh my gosh, it’s time for me to start on the slacker boob and baby’s not going to get enough.

Okay. So start them on that breast. Let them drink what they’re going to drink and then switch over to the other side. It’s the same. You, you handle it exactly the same. Yeah. And some people, some babies drink from two breasts every time, no matter what. And some drink from one, and both of those are normal and okay.

Actually, we did another poll in the group that said, is your baby a one boob baby? Or a two boot baby? Let me pull up those results. I think it was an even split. Yeah. Yeah. So in that poll again, things were split pretty evenly. Yeah. So whether or not your baby eats one boob and is done or eats one boob and then has a little bit from the other side, even yeah. Even split.

And you know, when people come to me with this question, again, this is all about your goal and not mine. So if you really, really, really want to, even out that production, there are a few things you can try. Now, I always start with the caveat of this does not always work because sometimes you literally just don’t have as much glandular tissue on that side. But you can, for example, begin every single feed on the side that makes less milk.

You could and your baby won’t like it. No, but you can do that to stimulate that breast more. You can pump on the side that doesn’t make as much milk while you feed on the other. That way that one’s getting stimulated every time. You can do extra breast massage there. You know, you can do extra hand stimulation.

I mean, you can try all of the things that we recommend in general to increase milk supply just on that on one side. And when baby is feeding on the slacker boob, do some really good breast compressions to ensure complete emptying or as much emptying as possible because the more empty it is, the more it’s going to fill back up.

But I want to emphasize, like, you don’t have to do anything about it. You know, especially if you’re, if you’re say you’re pumping and you’re getting six ounces on one breast and drops from the other. Who cares? Six ounces in one pumping session. Holy fuck. Y’all yeah, that’s good. That’s awesome. You know, so we’re looking at that overall satisfaction, that overall output, it doesn’t matter which one it comes from.

Yep. Yep. So send some love to your shitty titty today. Yeah. And you know, I love that Rachel McAdams photo shoot that she did where she’s pumping and she’s wearing some kind of beautiful designer. And one of the bottles was way less volume than the other. And it went viral of course.

And so many people commented on, “Oh good. Even Rachel McAdams has a slacker boob.” Right. And it’s like, yes, of course, everybody. This is biology. This isn’t something that you can fix in a plastic surgeon’s office. No, this isn’t a pill that you can take. Yeah. I wish somebody had told me this because I have significantly different output in my breasts.

Me too. And I stressed about it for months. And then I realized, wait a second. I’m basically entirely feeding my baby from the left breast and he doesn’t care. Yup. I’m the only one who cares. Yeah, they don’t. Oh my gosh. The kids don’t care. No. And I will say that sometimes I think it’s because you don’t have enough glandular tissue in that breast, but other times it’s because baby has a breast preference and they tend to feed better on one side than the other.

And it just kind of happens that way, that, that one breast isn’t as stimulated. And I think that’s maybe what happened with my son because he had torticollis and he would not turn to eat on the left. He would only really eat very well on the right. And so for years I was like, Oh, it’s cause I didn’t treat that torticollis like I should have, and now I’ve got this like slacker boob.

But then I had my daughter, guess what? Same thing? Same thing. She didn’t have torticollis. That’s just my breast. So I should have let myself off the hook a long time ago. Wasn’t your fault. I have a friend who their baby had some pretty severe torticollis and, and you know, they treated it and all that, but still by the time that it was resolved, she had completely dried up on one side and, you know, and I was so proud of her, you know, she was a person with really a small chest to begin with.

So, you know, she ended up with this one giant boob and nothing on the other side and she rocked it. She was like, yeah, this is the one that feeds my baby. Oh, good for her. That’s freaking awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Me too. So I want you to look down wherever you are. I hope you’re in the shower right now. Are you in the shower?

We see you. Touch those boobs. Touch your boobs right now. I’m going to hold mine. Yeah, me too. You know, and then look down at your little slacker boob and thank it for trying its best to feed your baby. Thanks boobie. Thanks boobie. And thank you out there. Thanks for listening to The Milk Minute.

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